Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Membership, Amendment 12 (2014)

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Amendment 12
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Constitution:Constitutional amendment
Referred by:Louisiana State Legislature
Topic:Administration of government
Status:On the ballot
2014 measures
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November 4
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Endorsements

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Membership, Amendment 12 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Louisiana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would require two of the four at-large non-industry members of the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission be from northern Louisiana.[1][2]

Northern Louisiana is here defined as the following parishes and all located to their north: Beauregard Parish, Allen Parish, Evangeline Parish, Avoyelles Parish and Pointe Coupee Parish.

The bill was sponsored in the legislature by State Representative James Armes III (D-30) as House Bill 426.[1]

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot text is as follows:[1]

Do you support an amendment to require that two members of the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission be electors from parishes located north of the parishes of Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, Avoyelles, and Pointe Coupee?

(Effective January 1, 2015) (Amends Article IX, Section 7(A))[3]

Constitutional changes

See also: Article IX, Louisiana Constitution

The proposed amendment would amend Section 7(A) of Article IX of the Constitution of Louisiana:[1]

§7. Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Section 7.(A) Members; Terms. The control and supervision of the wildlife of the state, including all aquatic life, is vested in the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The commission shall be in the executive branch and shall consist of seven members appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Six members shall serve overlapping terms of six years, and one member shall serve a term concurrent with that of the governor. Three members shall be electors of the coastal parishes and representatives of the commercial fishing and fur industries, two members shall be electors appointed at large from the parishes located north of a line created by the northern boundary of the parishes of Beauregard, Allen, Evangeline, Avoyelles, and Pointe Coupee, and four two members shall be electors from the state at large other than representatives of the commercial fishing and fur industries, as provided by law. No member who has served six years or more shall be eligible for reappointment.[3]


Support

The measure was introduced into the legislature by Rep. James Armes III (D-30).[1]

Arguments

The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following is the council's argument in support:

North and Central Louisiana are home to a number of natural resources, including Toledo Bend Reservoir, Kisatchie National Forest, the Sabine River, the Red River, Poverty Point Reservoir, Lake D’Arbonne and Lake Bruin, to name just a few. People come from all over the state to take advantage of the hunting and fishing. Yet the policy commission that oversees these resources has only one North Louisiana member on it. The proposed amendment would bring a better sense of geographic balance to the commission.

[3]

—Public Affairs Research Council[4]

Opposition

The sole legislator to vote against placing the amendment on the ballot was Sen. Dan Claitor (R-16).[1]

Arguments

The Public Affairs Research Council provided arguments for and against the constitutional amendment. The following is the council's argument against:

Rather than add more needless details to the state constitution, proponents of this change should remove commission membership requirements from the Constitution and place them in statute where they truly belong. A vote against this proposed amendment would send a signal of voter impatience with proposals to clutter the Constitution with minutia. Also, the current method of appointing members is fair. While three of the four at-large members are from South Louisiana right now, nothing in the law prevents the governor from looking for residents from North Louisiana to fill any or all of those spots when the seats become vacant.

[3]

—Public Affairs Research Council[4]

Path to the ballot

Louisiana Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIV
See also: Amending the Louisiana Constitution

State Representative James Armes III (D-30) introduced the bill into the legislature on March 29, 2013. The bill was approved through a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers. HB 426 was approved by the Louisiana House of Representatives on May 14, 2013. The amendment was approved by the Louisiana Senate on May 28, 2013.[5]

House vote

May 14, 2013 House vote

Louisiana HB 426 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 95 100.00%
No00.00%

Senate vote

May 28, 2013 Senate vote

Louisiana HB 426 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 37 97.37%
No12.63%

See also

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External links

References